Sack lunches, reinvented

Jeffrey Beall via Flicker

School starts this week for Alaina. She has 120 8th graders this year! While we don’t have kids to pack lunches for yet, I try to have lunch making fare in the fridge for Alaina and I to take to work. Packing a lunch saves a butt-load (exact monetary figure) of money, is really healthy and it tastes much better then anything from the cafeteria. School lunches and dorm food really haven’t improved and are best only as a last resort.

Our first choice for a sack lunch is always leftovers from dinner the night before and I usually plan dinner with that in mind. Beyond that we have found that sandwiches are nice but wraps are better! A soft flour tortilla wrapped around shaved lunch meat and loads of fresh veggies. They are especially great for kid’s lunches because they are much more resilient to being squished in the bottom of a backpack then your traditional sandwich. You can get whole wheat or multigrain wraps from your local co-op or Trader Joe’s to add to the nutritional value and then the filling options are quite endless.

What really makes the wrap is a good spread, hummus, pesto, even a flavored mayo add a nice punch. A current favorite is a roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato and white bean dip. You can make it quickly before bed so it is ready for you to throw your lunch together as you rush out the door.

Good luck to all the teachers/students/parents heading back to school this week! Do good work and make mistakes!

Roasted Red Pepper, Sun-dried Tomato and White Bean Dip

This dip is very flexible, the original called for roasted red pepper, I didn’t have any so I used sun-dried tomatoes, now I use both. I’ve also substituted part of the cream cheese for ricotta, but goat cheese would also work well. Add what sounds good, take out what you don’t like and play with it. If a combination of flavors sound good to you, they probably are.

2 clove garlic, minced

1 15-ounce can of white cannelini or navy beans
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
1/4 – 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
Juice from half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Add garlic to food processor or blender, mince. Add beans and pulse a few times to roughly chop them up. Add pepper and tomatoes, pulse to combine. Add cream cheese and lemon juice, mix until smooth. Add a little olive oil or more lemon juice if it is too thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This s great on wraps, but it is also quite wonderful on a multigrain chip or cracker.


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